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Help me understand ‘niche’ better

cross post from r/seo, apologies if you've already seen

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Hey guys,

I understand why positioning within a specific niche is beneficial; its easier to draw traffic, gain authority, dominate a space etc.

But.. if you are able to identify enough low competition keywords that you believe you can rank for, how much does it really matter?

i.e.

I want to create a website selling DVDs. I've managed to identify several keywords with low difficulty and intend to write articles around them (i.e. 'best 80s sci-fi films', 'best black and white comedys', etc).

I would end up with a website full of articles which ought to rank and draw in traffic, which I would hope to redirect to DVD sellers. However in this instance, my 'niche' would be pretty broad – basically I'm just selling DVDs.

Although I'm not really drilling down that specifically, would this still be a viable strategy for building a affiliate marketing website or is there something I'm missing?

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Send personalized messages to customers on their most-used messaging tool

Your customers are constantly on their phones. On average, US individuals spend anywhere from five to six hours per day on apps, making phone calls, or texting. That’s a lot of time, and a lot of opportunities for your business to get in front of your customers with meaningful, timely messages that drive them to take action. 

WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app, with over 2 billion users worldwide. People in over 180 countries use WhatsApp every day to send/receive text messages, photos and videos, documents, and even voice calls (remember those?) and there is a ton of opportunity for businesses to jump in as well. Whether you want them to make a purchase, check out new products, or reach out for support, you can now communicate 1:1 with customers using the WhatsApp integration inside ActiveCampaign.

Customers have come to expect that you know them well enough engage them on different channels and devices, but that the message will still be consistent and evolve with their level of engagement and activities. By connecting WhatsApp with ActiveCampaign, you can send tailored, relevant messages to your customers automatically based on their actions and behaviors to encourage them to take action and convert.

Working inside the ActiveCampaign automation builder, you will route customers through a multi-step path that’s right for them, engaging them via channels like your website, email marketing, and messaging. You can send a message based on their activity on your website, whether they make a purchase, or even if they simply engage with an email. 

WhatsApp doesn’t just help drive purchases or send promotional messaging, it can also help you respond to customer service inquiries, customer issues, and more.  Same as with sending promotional messages, you can track what a customer does when it comes to leaving a review or filling out a support request. Let them know quickly that you have their back, and they will love you for it. 

By adding this crucial channel to your existing marketing strategy, you will reach customers on the devices they love, and be able to connect the dots along the customer journey, improving customer engagement and building strong advocates out of one-time customers. 

The post Send personalized messages to customers on their most-used messaging tool appeared first on ActiveCampaign Email Marketing Blog.

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Help with Niche selection and keyword intent

Just posted on r/seo but thought to post here too. Sorry for the duplicate if you've seen already

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Hey all,

I think I've found a niche with low competition keywords that I can rank for, but I'm unsure if I have misidentified the potential with what I am doing. Having checked out the competition, I'm unsure if I'm correctly matching user intent and whether I am niching down enough.

As an example, lets say my website is broadly about gifts with categories:

Wedding gifts – Anniversary's – Birthdays

With further subcategories of:

Budget/Mid tier/Lavish wedding gifts – 10th/15th/20th anniversary's – 18th/21st/30th birthdays

The idea is that I create articles with which I can rank for (i.e. with keywords such as 'lavish wedding gifts' and '30th birthday gifts'), from which I can redirect users to other pages on my site (i.e. listicle type pages) from which they can be further re-directed to Amazon (or whomever).

Ultimately my site is actually very broad (just generally gifts in this example), albeit I am intending to add value to users by providing better suggestions and product filtering, and I intend to draw traffic by taking advantage of related low competition keywords that I can rank for and pass juice from.

I have googled the keywords I have found and although there are similar blog articles on SERP (which I ought to be able to beat) I've found that most results are for ecommerce shops (i.e. straight to the vendor).

Does this mean I have misread the user intent, and that my website would have no chance of ranking on SERP? (Despite the low difficulty keywords that my articles are based on).

Would be interested in knowing others thoughts on whether I have a sound strategy, or if I have misunderstood anything.

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How to Create Successful Marketing Goals (With Examples)

Marketers who set goals are 376% more likely to report success.

That's a hell of a stat, if I do say so myself.

So, yes. Marketing goals are important.

They give you direction, alignment, and help your business grow.

Without them, your marketing efforts lack direction. And if you don’t have goals in place, how will you know when you’ve been successful?

But it’s not always easy to create actionable and measurable marketing goals.

Keep reading to find out how to build successful marketing goals that support your digital marketing plan. We’ll take a look at some examples along the way, too.

Why are marketing goals important?

Marketing goals are integral to the overall success of the company for two reasons:

  • They help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing. If you don’t have any goals to work towards, how will you know if your marketing efforts are successful?
  • They help you align your marketing activity with business goals. If you don’t have clear goals in place, it can be pretty easy to stray from the overall objectives of the company. Marketing objectives keep you on the right track.

What are SMART goals in marketing?

The SMART goal-setting framework is used to create goals your business can actually work with and rely on.

It allows marketers to create a detailed and measurable objective, and to make sure that their goals are even possible in the first place.

Here’s a breakdown of the SMART framework:

  • Specific: To avoid any miscommunication, your goals must be specific. You should clearly outline what to achieve and how to achieve it.
  • Measurable: You must have measurable goals to determine when your goals are met.
  • Attainable: You must have realistic marketing goals. Of course, they can be aspirational. But they also need to be attainable.
  • Relevant: Your goals must align with the overall business strategy to make sure your marketing efforts contribute towards the success of the company.
  • Timely: You must have a deadline for achieving your goals to give you a certain date to work towards.

Image of the SMART goals acronym

4 examples of common marketing goals

Now let’s take a look at some of the most common types of marketing goals.

Note that all of these are general marketing goals, not SMART goals. Making a goal align with the SMART goal-setting methodology is specific to your business. After all, we don't know what your business' resources are or what (for instance) might be attainable for you.

1. Raise brand awareness

Raising brand awareness helps you reach a wider audience and establish yourself as a reputable brand.

Put simply, if you want to be a recognized brand, increasing brand awareness is the way to go.

Let’s take a look at an example of a brand awareness goal:

Increase brand awareness by growing social media followers by 5% over the next quarter.

This is just one of the ways you can raise brand awareness.

The right goal for your business will depend on the industry you're in, the audience you want to target, and the resources you have available.

2 . Improve customer experience

Research shows that customer experience is incredibly important in 2021, so it’s no surprise that it’s made our list of common marketing goals.

Most businesses use customer satisfaction (CSAT) to measure the customer experience.

Here’s an example of how to use a CSAT score in a marketing goal:

Increase the average CSAT score from 73% to 85% by the end of the year.

If you’re wondering what you can do to improve the customer experience, you might want to think about customer experience automation.

With a platform like ActiveCampaign, you can personalize the entire customer experience. And we know that consumers value personalization now more than ever.

Image of ActiveCampaign's automation for an email welcome series

3. Reach a new audience

If you’re looking to target a new audience, you might need to change how consumers view your brand.

Think about it. If you’ve been targeting a male audience with an average age of 50-65, chances are a younger audience won’t consider buying from your company, right?

So if you want to target a younger audience, you need to change your brand perception.

Here’s an example of a goal that will help you target a new audience:

Increase website traffic from a younger audience (18-35) by 15% over the next 6 months.

By tracking the demographic of your website traffic, you can see if your efforts to target a new audience are paying off.

4. Generate more leads

Every marketer looks for new ways to generate more leads.

Why?

Because more leads means a higher chance of conversions.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Increase lead generation by 12% over the next financial year.

But what exactly can you do to increase lead generation?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer. Every business is different, so your lead-generation strategy will be different, too.

But using a marketing automation platform like ActiveCampaign is a good place to start.

It allows you to target the right customers at the right time, giving you a higher chance of generating more leads.

How to create successful goals for your marketing strategy: 7 steps

Let’s dive into the real reason you’re here: How to create your own successful marketing goals.

1. Understand the overarching goals of your business

Your marketing goals should support the overall success of the company.

So before you create your marketing goals, you need to understand what “overall success” means — what your business' goals are.

Once you’re familiar with these, you can start to create marketing goals that support your company's overall development.

So how exactly can marketers align their goals with their business' objectives?

Be specific as to how each marketing goal will support your business strategy and how you’ll track and measure that support.

Let’s use an example.

Imagine one of your business goals is to increase market share. To support this objective, you create the following marketing goal:

Increase the number of sales-qualified leads by 15% over the next financial year.

By increasing the number of leads you bring into the company, you’re directly supporting the company objective.

As a result, you’re helping the business grow.

2. Analyze the current marketplace

Marketers need to understand the marketplace before creating marketing goals.

Why?

Because a thorough understanding of the marketplace gives you the context you need to create relevant and achievable goals.

For example, let’s say one of your competitors (who also happens to be the market leader) is planning to launch a new product in three months.

You’d planned to launch a very similar product around the same time. But by analyzing the marketplace, you determine that it’s not the best time to launch your product.

As a result, you can readjust your goals to give yourself the best chance of success.

So how can you analyze the marketplace?

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Research the state of the industry: Has there been a large shift in consumer behavior recently? Or have suppliers in your industry raised their costs? Make sure you look at the micro and macro factors affecting the industry to keep yourself up to speed.
  • Understand your competition: Research your main competitors to see how they’re performing in the marketplace. This information will help guide your marketing goals.

3. Conduct a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis analyzes your core strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

By running this internal audit, you can identify your position in the marketplace, spot any potential challenges, and pinpoint your best chances for success.

Let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow to do a SWOT analysis:

  • Strengths: Identify what your strengths are. For example, what your company does well (perhaps compared to your competitors), the resources you have, and your existing assets.
  • Weaknesses: Take a look at the areas where your business is lacking. For example, you could have a limited marketing budget or lack a design specialist.
  • Opportunities: Find the areas where your business has an opportunity to thrive. For instance, your unique selling points (USPs), any non-competitive markets, or an emerging need for your product or service.
  • Threats: Review the threats that could prevent you from succeeding. New competitors, a drastic change in the marketplace, or changing brand perception are all examples of potential threats.

Here’s a template you can use to conduct your analysis:
​​
Image of a SWOT analysis template

4. Identify your target market

Honing in on your target market allows you to tailor your marketing goals to the right audience.

So how do you identify your target market?

Let’s take a look:

  • Speak to consumers about your brand: Reach out to consumers to see what they think of your brand. Speaking to them directly will give you the insight you need to pin down who your target audience should be.
  • Review previous customers: Take a look at who your previous customers are. These people are interested in your company, so this will help you identify who you should target going forward.
  • Competitor research: Review who your competitors are targeting. You might want to target the same audience or think about targeting a different audience base to give yourself a competitive advantage.

Once you’ve identified your target market, you can divide your audience into smaller groups. This allows you to make your inbound marketing more personalized, which we know consumers like.

Here are a few ways you can segment your audience:

Image of the target market segmentations

5. Tailor your goals to the marketing funnel

Tailoring your goals to each stage of the marketing funnel might sound like overkill.

But it’s a really helpful way to keep your marketing goals aligned with the customer journey, helping you nurture leads at every stage of the funnel.

Image of the 6 stages of the marketing funnel, including a description of each

So how can you align your marketing goals with the sales funnel?

Here’s what we’d suggest:

  • Familiarize yourself with the funnel: Make sure you have a good understanding of your marketing funnel. This will give you a solid foundation for creating goals that support each stage.
  • Identify the areas you want to align with: You don’t have to align goals with every stage of the funnel. You might want to focus on one or two important areas. For example, if you want to target the awareness stage, your goal would raise brand awareness.
  • Create your goals: Once you know what stages of the funnel you want to align with, you can start creating your goals. Make sure to continually review the funnel while you’re creating your goals to keep them aligned.

6. Make your goals SMART

We’ve already talked about SMART goals, but it's an important element to mention again.

To give your goals the best chance of success, they need to be SMART.

If they’re not, you risk creating unachievable goals, which is demoralizing for your marketing team and not great for business.

So make sure you’re familiar with the SMART acronym and how to create a SMART marketing goal. If you’re not sure, re-read the section above about SMART goals.

And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even if it’s just having a colleague review the goals before you roll them out to the team, the second pair of eyes could be helpful.

7. Track and measure success

When it comes to marketing goals, tracking progress helps you stay on schedule. Without it, you risk falling behind and missing the chance to hit your goal.

So how can you make sure your marketing goals stay on track?

The answer is simple: Milestones.

By using milestones, you can easily see whether you’re progressing as planned or if you’re struggling to achieve your goal.

For example, let’s say you have a content marketing goal to increase traffic to your blog by 12% over the next six months.

To make sure you hit this goal, you set a milestone to see a 2% increase in traffic each month. That way you know that you’re on track to hit the 12% goal.

And if you use a marketing automation platform like ActiveCampaign, you can add goals to your automations. This helps you track progress, enhance your marketing efforts, and streamline your marketing activities.

Screenshot of ActiveCampaign's software which allows users to create goals as part of the automation process

Create marketing goals for success

Having read this article, you should have a solid understanding of how to create goals for success.

Now it’s time to put it into practice.

And to make the experience easier, consider using a marketing automation platform like ActiveCampaign.

With our platform, you can track and manage the entire customer experience from one location. And you can track the results, too.

Take a look at our platform for more information, or sign up for a free trial to see it for yourself.

The post How to Create Successful Marketing Goals (With Examples) appeared first on ActiveCampaign Email Marketing Blog.

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Specific question regarding when an affiliate event triggers for coupon code sites…

I'll try to explain this the least confusing as I can, but please feel free to ask follow-up questions!

As the title says, I'm wondering when exactly an affiliate event (CJ event for example if you're using CJ network) would trigger for a potential customer on a coupon site.

Using Retailmenot.com as an example, let's say I'm a potential customer and I search "hats" and end up at Lids promo codes. I see a coupon for say 10% off and then click on the "Get This Code" button/link which then shows me the code and also pops up a new tab/window to the Lids.com website. So at this point, I now have the Retailmenot page open showing me the 10% off coupon code details and also another page for Lids.com that popped up when I previously clicked the 10% off button/link.

My next question is does the customer then have to complete the sale and/or have activity through that specific pop up in the new tab/window in order for Retailmenow to receive commission for that sale? Does the CJ event/tracking cookie trigger once the customer clicks on the "10% off coupon" and the window pops open even if the customer performs no activity at all on that new Lids.com pop up window?

In other words, what would happen if a customer was organically, direct on the Lids website without ever visiting a coupon site before, put some hats in their cart and ready to purchase, then did a search for a coupon code on Retailmenot and copy and pasted the code from there OR simply mentally copied the code over that they found on Retailmenot into their checkout for the checkout they already had organically open in another tab 10 minutes early and did not use the new pop up tab from Retailmenot at all?

Sorry for the confusion. Please let me know if this makes sense! Thanks in advance!

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August 2021 Top 10: Our Most Popular Posts

Our mission since 2005 is to publish independent content to help ecommerce merchants. What follows are the 10 most popular articles that we published in August 2021. Articles from early in the month are more likely to make the list than later ones.

The post August 2021 Top 10: Our Most Popular Posts appeared first on Practical Ecommerce.

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Ecommerce Product Releases: August 31, 2021

Here is a list of product releases and updates for late August from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on social commerce, cybersecurity, global tax management, omnichannel advertising, and buy now, pay later.

The post Ecommerce Product Releases: August 31, 2021 appeared first on Practical Ecommerce.

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The best social stories and campaigns from August 2021

August’s social media roundup includes campaigns from Instagram, TikTok and YouTube as they aim to grow their appeal even further. Meanwhile this month, other well-known brands are focusing on causes such as wellbeing and wildlife trafficking, as well as giving a platform to disabled individuals in the lead up to the Paralympic Games.

For a deeper dive into social media platform innovation, head over to The Social Quarterly Report or the Social Media Platform Trends report.

Let’s dig in.

YouTube – ‘The Shorter Side of YouTube’

With the global rollout of Shorts – YouTube’s answer to TikTok’s short-form video format – the streaming platform has launched a new social campaign to boost its usage, which will run across all major platforms. Titled ‘The Shorter Side of Youtube’, a variety of social-led video content aims to encourage TikTok’s core demographic to give the YouTube’s latest offering a go and to get more creative than ever before.

The headline ad demonstrates the numerous ways anyone can drive existing trends, and make new ones, on Shorts. It also features a range of artists including BTS, The Weeknd and Doja Cat, emphasising short-form video’s key connection with music videos and audio, which already account for some of the most popular types of uploads on the wider platform.

On YouTube’s official social media accounts, it is taking the campaign one step further by posting weekly curated roundups (named Shorts Reports) of its favourite uploads. These cover everything from viral ASMR videos to crafting tutorials, recipes and magic tricks.

TikTok – Entertainment. Now on TikTok

TikTok have partnered with entertainer duo Ant and Dec for a new ad campaign which sees them travel back in time to relive the evolution of entertainment through the ages. Fans of Ant and Dec will know they have a following of some 3.1 million on TikTok, which combined with their renowned, lifelong comedy prowess makes them well placed to act as ambassadors for the app.

The humourous spot sees the pair begin as cavemen, then transition into ancient Roman entertainers and Shakespearean performers, before becoming the stars of a classic black and white slapstick film. Finally, after a quick stop at a TV studio, they reach the present day phenomenon that is the TikTok app, where they perform a viral dance routine. The ad then melds a montage of different videos from some of the platform’s biggest creators to demonstrate the vast range of entertainment available to its users.

Instagram – ‘Who we become is yours to make’

This month, Instagram is celebrating creators that are ‘challenging the status quo’, in a new campaign that ‘denounces going back to normal, because normal was never good enough’.

The social channel commissioned popular photographer Bella Newman to take portraits of some of Instagram’s most ‘culture-defining’ creators, which have been transformed into engaging, animated GIFs. Under the campaign slogan, ‘Who we become is yours to make’, Instagram’s content aims to inspire its younger users to display their most authentic selves on the platform as they decide who they want to become in the future.

Featured creators in this campaign include popular internet personality and barber Aaron Turk (@FatsDaBarber), environmental educator Isaias Hernandez (@QueerBrownVegan) and disabled social activist Emily Barker (@Celestial_Investments) among many others. This comes as part of a much larger effort from Instagram to present itself as a space for authenticity, diversity and inclusivity.

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International Paralympic Committee – #WeThe15

WeThe15 is a powerful social movement led by the International Paralympic Committee and the International Disability Alliance which aims to break down the stigma and discrimination that disabled people, who make up 15% of the global population, continue to face.

To coincide with the start of the delayed Tokyo Paralympic Games in mid-August, the movement has introduced a social-led campaign to empower disabled voices as part of a long-term drive under the hashtag #WeThe15. A 1-minute-50-second hero film looks to “build greater knowledge of the barriers and discrimination persons with disabilities face on a daily basis at all levels of society”, the organisation said on its website. It brings together a number of different disabled voices from across six continents and emphasises the commonality between their experiences.

The film will air on Channel 4 and NBC during the 2020 Paralympics opening and closing ceremonies. It will also feature on the movement’s official social media channels alongside other dedicated social video clips and photographic content featuring prominent Paralympians as they share details of their experiences and achievements.

Lululemon – Being well is a journey

Activewear brand Lululemon launched its ‘largest ever’ global advertising campaign in August, which asks what it means to be well in modern times. In particular, the activation focuses on the brand’s growing menswear collection, which has been gaining traction in recent months and has been spurred on by the rise of at-home workouts.

In a series of short spots, as well as a headline film, the campaign follows a number of men as they take on a journey to wellness amid their hectic daily lives and, in contrast, a prolonged period of lockdown isolation. Through these, Lululemon offers a more empathetic perspective on the idea of wellness as an activewear brand – “In order to feel well, first you have to feel” and “being well takes practice” – a far cry from the relentlessly motivational rhetoric some rival brands perpetuate.

This shift in perspective is underlined in Lululemon’s most recent posts on Twitter and Instagram, where it encourages its followers to share their own tips and tricks to maintain wellness beyond physical activity.

Consequently, each of its 15-second spots draws attention to specific item of activewear and emphasises how its design and utilisation makes the wearer feel during a workout or when out and about. While this campaign spans further than the realms of social media, the short format of the content lends itself to social platforms, conveying a compelling and emotive message with minimal branding except for the Lululemon logo and the name of the product.

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National Geographic – #ThinkBeforeYouLike

National Geographic aims to educate its fans and followers on the ongoing worldwide trafficking of cheetah cubs as pets with a new social media campaign titled #ThinkBeforeYouLike.

In a series of stunning and emotive photographic content, the organisation warns social media users to think twice about liking images and videos from accounts that post about their pet cheetah cubs. Speaking to Ad Week about the campaign, National Geographic animals desk executive editor Rachael Bale explains, “The idea behind the hashtag is to just get people to pause for a second and think about what they’re seeing before they decide to like a photo. It’s the one thing people can do themselves to help prevent cheetah trafficking.”

Alongside the captivating imagery, National Geographic is making an effort to share detailed information, educational resources and even newsreels about the trade of cheetah cubs via its official social channels. It also encourages its followers to join in the conversation to help raise further awareness of the issue by asking any questions they may have about the implications of trafficking the animals.

Tiffany and Co – About Love

Iconic jewellers Tiffany and Co. have teamed up with megastar couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z to debut the brand’s new campaign, About Love, which looks to explore ‘connection and vulnerability’ and love in the modern era. The brand has used channels like Twitter and Instagram to share a sneak peek of the activation before it launches globally across other digital media and print, receiving a largely positive response from social media users.

The Carters are the first couple ever to star together in a Tiffany campaign as the jewellery brand looks to tweak its creative direction and brand purpose. Alexandre Arnault, Executive VP of Product and Communications for the brand, said in a press release, “Beyoncé and JAY-Z are the epitome of the modern love story. As a brand that has always stood for love, strength and self-expression, we could not think of a more iconic couple that better represents Tiffany’s values.”

Featuring striking portraits of the pair, the campaign contains even more notable firsts: Beyoncé is the first Black woman to don the priceless 128 carat Tiffany diamond and it is also the first time the jewel has ever been used as part of a brand activation. One image, which features the couple posed in front of a rarely seen Basquiat painting, garnered more than 110k likes on Instagram in 24 hours, while a short video spot on the same platform has been viewed more than 600k times.

As part of the brand’s new partnership with the Carters, Tiffany has pledged $2 million towards scholarships and internship programmes for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Eos – Vagnastics

Finally, we’re turning to Eos for a humourous take on shaving as it encourages customers to continue using its line of shaving cream beyond the summer months. The video ad, which puts a quirky twist on a classic 80s workout video, provides viewers with some tips on positions to use to safely shave their bikini areas. It includes some amusingly named stretches including ‘The Cello’, ‘The Tripod’ and ‘The Dust Buster’, as demonstrated by three cheesy leotard-clad workout coaches.

Adding humour to convey information and advice on taboo subjects, such as shaving intimate areas, “helps de-stigmatize the topic, [unlike] speaking about it in a mysterious way as brands have done in the past”, Eos CMO, Soyoung Kang, explained in a statement.

The paid ad will be run in the US across TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat from August until October.

That’s all for now. For more social media updates, head to The Social Quarterly Report.

The post The best social stories and campaigns from August 2021 appeared first on Econsultancy.

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5 Ways Apple’s Email Privacy Impacts Marketing

As early as September 2021, Apple's mobile email apps may hide a recipient's internet protocol address, making it difficult or impossible to measure open rates and track user behavior.

The post 5 Ways Apple's Email Privacy Impacts Marketing appeared first on Practical Ecommerce.

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20 Free Web Design Tools from Summer 2021

Here is a list of new web tools and design elements that can enhance an ecommerce site. There are page builders, design collaboration tools, gradient generators, video apps, coding tools, fonts, and more. All are free, though some also offer premium versions as well.

The post 20 Free Web Design Tools from Summer 2021 appeared first on Practical Ecommerce.